The New Haven Open is one of the ten major tennis tournaments leading up to the U.S. Open. It began in 1948 and continues to this day, now called the Connecticut Open.
The team behind the tournament already had a general marketing agency, but they wanted to deeply explore social media for the upcoming year. I spearheaded and implemented a strategy with a team to increase their social media presence and increase interaction.
When I looked at The New Haven Open’s social media page, I saw that they were loosely active on Facebook and not much beyond. They had an existing fan base that would sit dormant for nearly the whole year, until the time of the matches themselves. We were interested in not only expanding the channels’ reach during the event, but also leading up to it.
I developed and launched a game called “Top Fan” that took place entirely on social media. It featured trivia, games and tasks for fans of the New Haven Open. Posts utilized game dynamics to increase participation. Working with a small company to further new software, we were able to track and reward points to people who liked, commented and shared posts on our social media sites. These points worked towards prizes that included free tickets, merchandise and a behind the scenes tour of the stadium.
We launched the game four months before the tournament itself. Over the course of our campaign, we added 4,000+ fans to the New Haven Open’s social media pages, more than tripling their existing fan base. By one month out, we had achieved the same level of interaction online that they had previously only experienced during the matches themselves. Not only that, we brought the entire ticketing system into Facebook, and enjoyed consistent sales through social media.